Costa Rica in a wheelchair

Old Mar 10th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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Costa Rica in a wheelchair

Hi I'm planning a trip to Costa Rica. I am a quadriplegic, have good arm strength but very limited hand/finger function. I push my wheelchair, drive a car, etc. Anyway, I initially started looking at C.R. because I am a SCUBA addict and I was intrigued by the chance to see some big stuff underwater. The more I looked into it, the more I liked the sound of all the land activities and now want to do a combination trip. I'm pretty sure where I would stay on the coast to base by diving out of (Playa Hermosa). But I'm looking for some advice about a couple other locations. I'm looking at the Volcan Arenal and Monteverde as two other possibilities. Does anyone have any ideas or wisdom about ANYTHING that might be half-way accessible. How about the rainforest activities (ziplines, sky rails, etc). Are any of these a possibility you think? How about the hot springs? I'm a big believer that accessibility is more a state of mind, so if you tell me no I might say heck with you anyway, but at the same time I would love to hear your thoughts on ANYTHING related to Costa Rica and a wheelchair traveler. Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].
Bobby_Boucheaux is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 09:45 PM
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Costa Rica is a little behind in updating places to fit all abilities but I have been seeing more evidence of changes. Could be because there are more americans building places. Unfortunately, most of the trails that I have been on are hard to walk on nevermind a wheelchair. This is primarily because of the difficult terrain, tree roots in the rainforest, etc. is a tour company that has been around for many years. They can customize a trip for people with all types of abilities.
There are aerial trams around that you could do. The zip lines are pretty tough.
There are a couple of places where most of the touring is done by boat and are really neat to do. The Sarapiqui, Cano Negro, Tortuguero. Cano Negro and Tortuguero are probably the best. There is also the Corobici.
The Guanacaste area does have some parks that are not as mountainous and rugged as in many places in CR.
I should think you would be able to get into the hot springs. If I remember correctly, they had some good walkways that would accomodate a wheelchair. You could do a day trip up to Cano Negro from that area also.
Irazu would be a good volcano for you to visit on a day trip. Not terribly exciting but a popular one to visit because you can drive up there and then easily look down into the crater.
Good Luck with your trip. Have heard that the diving is great around the Catalina and Bat Islands. Huge mantas and at certain times of the year, humpbacks and turtles.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 04:07 AM
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Dear Bobby Boucheaux,
why don't you check out this website?
Also, I know that Turubari Park ( is wheelchair accessible, and they have both aerial tram and canopy.
Have a great trip!
Pura Vida,
Neta Talmor
costaricafinca is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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I'm not sure how helpful my information will be, but you never know.

I definitely think Poas Volcano is accessible. While most people walk in to look at the crater, there are paved roads that would allow you to drive in if necessary (in fact, my guide told me that the ambulance I saw on the access road is stationed there permanently to transport anyone who can't walk in).

Irazu Volcano was less accessible. There is a paved road, but it ends too soon before the crater viewpoints.

I took a zip-line tour with the Original Canopy Company in Orotina (Iguana Park); unfortunately, I just don't see how this could be done. You definitely needed to stand on the platforms while you were waiting for others to zip in/out, and there was very little room (lots of hanging on to any rope/surface available).

La Paz Waterfalls isn't very accessible either. Perhaps the lodge area and the butterfly and hummingbird gardens, but to view the falls, there are tons of steps. It is possible to drive to the bottom of the last fall (La Paz) and view it from there, but not the other four.

On a more positive note, in Playa Tamarindo, there was a gal in a wheelchair staying at my hotel (Capitan Suizo). She was able to navigate the grounds, as well as access the beach. The town of Tamarindo was relatively flat, with lots of paved roads.

Please forgive me if anything I wrote sounds insensitive. I applaud your awesome attitude that mobility is a state of mind!
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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First of all I applaud your wonderful outlook. It will be difficult to get around, but it is possible. Unfortunately, Costa Rica is not very handicap accesible, but it definitely can be done. I am not sure about the zip lines, but I am sure Tabacon is possible, as is the scuba diving. The biggest headaches will be in the actual towns themselves, there are only 2 ramps here in Quepos, and the sidewalk changes elevations at every store front, but the streets could suffice if you are careful. I wish there were more, we had a friend break his leg here last year, and just finding a wheelchair to rent was a headache, and then we pushed him down the street and lifted himm up to the sidewalks when he wanted to go in one place or another as there were no ramps last year here.
Have a blast here, and just give yourself a little extra time to get where you want to go, and you should be fine.
I hope you get to see the "big stuff" while you are here. Have fun.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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Thank you all for the replies so far. It's so cool to have resources like this to get information. Don't anyone worry about saying anything "insensitive". I appreciate any information and opinons.
Bobby_Boucheaux is offline  
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